Amy Poehler’s Harvard College Class Day Speech

8 Jun

I just finished listening to Bossypants by Tina Fey and she talks fondly of working with Amy Poehler and about how improv works. Then I saw this (oh, ages ago it seems now) and I love it so much, too.

I love the tone Amy Poehler strikes in this speech: how one’s life’s work can be so meaningful and fun and you have to take it seriously but also not take yourself seriously. She slays me with her humor and her advice. She does this whole thing without ever being sentimental, but sometimes she’s poetic.

Watch it. Here’s what I got out of it that applies around this website.

(I think these are the improv rules that Tina Fey also writes about in Bossypants.)
Listen
Say yes
Live in the moment
Play with people who have your back
Make big choices early and often

She says:
“You can’t do it alone… be open to collaboration.”
“We all grow up afraid of something.”
“You never know what is around the corner… unless you peek. And hold someone’s hand while you do it.”

There’s this story in Bossypants, written out here. As Fey writes, “With that exchange, a cosmic shift took place. Amy made it clear that she wasn’t there to be cute. She wasn’t there to play wives and girlfriends in the boys’ scenes. She was there to do what she wanted to do and she did not fucking care if you like it.”

It happens that I do like it.

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